Dairy coalition commits to working strategy for British dairying

THE DAIRY Coalition has committed to working together to deliver on its ten point strategy to help secure the long-term future of the British dairy industry.


Speaking today at the Livestock Event , NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said the primary objective of the Dairy Coalition (NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, FFA, TFA, WFU and the RABDF) was to see a fair and functioning market place for the UK dairy industry.


“We formed this coalition because our dairy market simply wasn’t working,” he said. “This was made very clear when we saw devastating price cuts this the spring, and further price cuts planned for August. Market highs, when we have seen them, have not been passed down to the farm gate.


“From working together we have seen SOS Dairy engage with government, with our milks buyers, with processors and other large buyers of milk – and this work must and will continue.


“We need to ensure we deliver on our ten point plan and we have committed to working as a coalition to ensure we do just that. We will focus on three key areas including exposing bad practices, redefining and empowering the farmers’ role in the supply chain and ensuring the supply chain is transparent and fair.”


FFA chairman David Handley said: “The SOS Dairy campaign has seen this coalition of dairy farmers and organisations working together to demand fairer contracts and a more transparent supply chain for dairy farmers. While we are not at the end of this journey we have made great inroads, not least of which is the new voluntary code which has been announced by the NFU, NFUS and Dairy UK.


“We are committed to working as a coalition to represent the views of each organisation and to apply pressure to deliver on our ten point plan. This will help us to secure a long-term future which will benefit the whole of the British dairy industry and safeguard British dairy products for consumers.”


The Ten Point Plan will:


  • Expose those whose damaging behaviour undermines the liquid milk market 
  • Work with milk buyer farmer representatives to ensure that representation is professional, independent and democratic, so that farmers’ interests are protected.
  • Set out a roadmap to capture the maximum opportunity for Producer Organisations to rebalance the negotiating power within the milk supply chain and assist farmers wanting to set up POs or other collaborative organisations within the dairy sector.
  • Work to finalise the code of good practice for dairy contracts.
  • Develop a process to monitor and report on the implementation of the Code of Good Practice for Dairy Contracts, to ensure its earliest and complete adoption.
  • Encourage all milk buyers to develop their own appropriate and transparent milk procurement and pricing models that are equitable for all parties and cover farmers’ production costs. Clearly, the coalition doesn’t seek to say what that model should be, but we want to see all milk buyers working to create their own models that deliver a fair and sustainable price for farmers.
  • Expose bad practice or non-compliance with the Code of Good Practice and irresponsible behaviour in the milk market by developing a whistle-blower mechanism for farmers. 
  • Campaign to promote British cheese and other dairy products to consumers and to retailers, both in the domestic market and abroad.
  • Work with DairyCo so farmers can utilise relevant market information published by DairyCo such as up-to-date global trends, league tables and dairy market predictions. 
  • Prepare an ambitious strategy for the UK dairy industry’s future without EU milk quotas, which takes full advantage of growing domestic and global demand for dairy products.